12 Amazing Facts About Bhutan

12 Amazing Facts About Bhutan - WebNewsOrbit

Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge, is known for its monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs) and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. In the High Himalayas, peaks such as 7,326m Jomolhari are popular trekking destinations. Paro Taktsang monastery (also known as Tiger’s Nest) clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley.

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1. In 2010, Bhutan banned cigarettes.

Tobacco products can't be produced or sold here. Smoking in public is also illegal. It is punishable by stiff fine.

2. TV and Internet were only adopted in 1999.

Before that they were banned. Bhutan is the last country in the world to introduce TV. It has only 2 channels that broadcast from 11 p.m to 6 p.m.

3. Bhutan has a mandatory national dress code.

All men wear a "gho", which is a knee-length garment. Women must wear a "kira", a traditional sari-like dress. Today it's only mandatory for government employees. But most people still follow the dress code.

4. Inheritance is matrilineal.

It means it's passed to the eldest daughter. Married men move in with their wives. Property is owned by women. The men are expected to "earn their keep".

5. The only international airport is very challenging.

Paro International Airport is located in a deep valley. The valley is surrounded by 18,000-high mountain peaks. This makes landing very tricky. Flights are only allowed in the daytime and in good weather. Only 8 pilots are certified to land at Paro International Airport.

6. Bhutan is the only country with a negative carbon footprint.

72% of the country is covered by forests. This is actually a constitutional requirement. As a result, Bhutan is the world's only carbon negative country. There is no heavy industry and very little pollution.

7. Plastic has been banned since the 1990s.

The Bhutanese are encouraged to use paper or jute bags instead. Single use plastic products are illegal for businesses. Customers are free to use them, but they are rare. Plastic packaging of goods is allowed, however.

8. No animals are killed in Bhutan. 

Animal slaughtering is illegal in the Himalayan kingdom. Most Bhutanese are Buddhists. However, they are not vegetarian. Meat and fish are imported from India. 

9. Chilli peppers are eaten raw.

The Bhutanese often consume chilli as a snack. The local cuisine also uses lots of chilli pepper. It's probably the most popular vegetable and spice.

10. The Bhutanese don't celebrate birthdays.

In fact, the law doesn't even require them to record their birth dates. Most Bhutanese thus age up on January 1. It's also the birth date you will see on most Bhutanese passports.

11. The King's Birthday is the most important national holiday.

The current king is Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. He turned 41 on February 21, 2021. Last year, he had unusual birthday requests. He asked citizens to adopt animals and plant trees. He also urged them to manage waste. The king said it would be the best gift for him.

12. Bhutan's official tourism policy is "High Value, Low Impact".

This means restricting the number of tourists. Too many tourists may disrupt Bhutan's traditional way of life. So everyone has to pay a mandatory daily fee for visiting Bhutan. The fee is $200 in the low season and $250 in the high season. It covers food transportation, and lodging. No cheap options are available.

Would you like to visit the Kingdom of Bhutan? 

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